$5 Million Contribution Boosts Football Performance Center Construction

Stu Levenick

U of I Alum Stu Levenick has donated $5 million for a new football performance center

Rob McColley for Illinois Public Media

A former University of Illinois Football player and Caterpillar executive is donating $5 million to the U of I football program.

Stu Levenick’s donation will help build a new $79 million Football Performance Center, where players will train, practice and prepare for games.

Levenick says the years he spent playing football and getting an education at the U of I helped him be a success in life. He added, "I believe in the student-athlete experience and the lessons it teaches in leadership, accountability and teamwork. I would not be in the position I am today if it weren't for my journey as an Illini." He adds that he has confidence in the current administration to equip current players for life. "They realize that it is just as important for Illinois to be first in the classroom as it is on the field," he said. 

"To see a former Fighting Illini player and his wife step forward with a gift like this is very exciting," said U of I head coach Lovie Smith. "Stu knows the dedication and work it takes to succeed at a high level, whether on the football field, or in the business world. The support the Levenicks are showing for the Football Performance Center means so much to the young men on this team, and to future Illini who will get to use it as we build our program. I can't thank them enough."

Levenick played football for the Fighting Illini from 1972 to 1975. He joined Caterpiller in 1977, recently retiring from the company as a group president.

The new football performance center Levenick is helping to build is getting money from other private donations, plus the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The facility should be ready in time for the 2019 football season.

Story source: WILL